Home Price Dip in the GTA Could Signal Signs of Balanced Market for Spring 2022

The latest March 2022 numbers from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) are showing that while the prices are still increasing year over year, there was a slight dip from February to March, suggesting that there could be a shift coming from the consistent rising prices we’ve seen over the last two years.

New listings are similarly still down from last year but again are seeing an improvement month over month. Sales are also following a similar trend – still down over the year but have seen an improvement since last month. In March there were 20,038 new listings, and with 10,955 sales it means the sales-to-new-listings-ratio (SNLR) is at 55% – the first time the market has seen this balance since before October of 2020.

According to Lauren Haw, CEO Zoocasa, “ we are seeing more stock slowly trickle into the market which is great news for buyers. Sellers have really been in the drivers’ seat in the past two years as prices have continued to increase in such a tight market.  However, we are starting to see a shift in some of the areas outside of the downtown core where properties are sitting a little longer on market.  With another expected interest rate hike coming, more potential government intervention, buyers seem to be a little more tentative and waiting to see how things develop. Savvy buyers may be able to take advantage of reduced competition and price drops in certain regions”.

Sales are again down from last year but are still seeing month-over-month improvements. There were 10,955 transactions in the month of March, down 30% from last year’s record high of 15,652, but there has been a 20% bump over February’s sales figures. March 2022 still represents the third-best March on record and rounds out the second-best Q1 on record, the record holder of course being 2021.  The largest increase in sales volume this March was for detached and semi-detached homes, improving by 24% and 32% respectively.

The slight bump in new listings month over month is encouraging, but there is still a short supply of stock, with a dip of 12% compared to last year’s figure of 22,709. This lack of inventory is continuing to hamper sales, but there is encouragement that there will be more options for buyers in the Spring and Summer as the month-over-month numbers are expected to improve.

Price Increases are Starting to Moderate

March 2022, prices have taken a hit in nearly every housing type, which is more than unusual given the hot conditions since 2020 and there is a tendency for the market to heat up as we move into the Spring. The average price of a home is currently $1,299,894 across the whole TRREB area, down from $1,334,544 – a dip of just under $35,000 dollars. This small dip in pricing can be attributed to both the slight uptake in new listings but may also be due to the rising interest rates, with buyers taking a slight step back from parting with their money, interest rates are expected to continue to climb with the next Bank of Canada announcement.

The rate at which new listings have come in during March has outpaced that of sales, giving buyers more options when it comes to buying a home. The market is still tight but home buyers are not looking at the same competition they experienced last year at this time. TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst, Jason Mercer, adds: “Competition between homebuyers in the GTA remains very strong in most neighborhoods and market segments. However, we did experience more balance in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year. If this trend continues, it is possible that the pace of price growth could moderate as we move through the year.”

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